Tom had always been fast. He learned to run as a young boy on the Six Nation’s Reserve in Ontario, Canada. He would run long distances each day to get to school, work, or to visit his family and friends.
Sometimes running was the easiest part of his life. As an Aboriginal athlete, life was hard. Other people tried to control how he trained and where he raced. But he chose to rely on his own spirit, mind and body and would never back down.
Tom Longboat won the Boston Marathon in 1907 with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes and 24 seconds, breaking the previous record by five minutes. The Boston newspaper said he was "the most marvelous runner who has sped over our roads."
He competed in the Olympics and won many international marathons.
His spirit lives on. Every year, the most outstanding Aboriginal athlete in Canada is recognized with the Tom Longboat award.